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00:30:00

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Virtual Ch. 110 (CSPAN3)

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United States 17, Truman 12, Hitler 11, Stalin 9, Berlin 9, Harry Truman 9, Joseph Stalin 9, Europe 8, China 6, Greece 5, Nato 4, Kennan 4, Turkey 4, Us 4, West Berlin 4, Western Europe 3, Eastern Europe 3, South America 3, Truman Stalin 3, Dr. Seuss 3,
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  CSPAN    [untitled]  

    May 19, 2012
    5:00 - 5:30pm EDT  

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there's no negotiation on this. here's the big three again. if you notice anything different about it, it's franklin roosevelt. this is the impact of war, as well as his health. he doesn't look well. some historians said that roosevelt wasn't well at alta, he wasn't at his best, but roosevelt is going to agree to some of stalin's demands. poland, for example. part of it is simply he's maintaining philosophy of trying to cooperate with this guy. i'm not going to antagonize you, i want to cop operaoperate with. part of it was some claim part of the reason that they gave in
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at alta is he's simply not at his best. fact is, he's not. six weeks later, a little over six weeks later, roosevelt is dead. we talked about this on tuesday. cerebral hemorrhage. roosevelt is dead. the president who carried us through the depression and the new deal, on the road to war, and almost all of the way through the war is gone. that brings a change. missouri's own harry truman now becomes president of the united states. very interesting circumstances. obviously. we are just about to wrap up the war in europe. we are island hopping our way to japan. i mean, it looks promising and yet there are all kinds of potholes along the way. we still have to finish the defeat of germany.
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we still have to finish off japan. how we do that, when we do that, and then what are the consequences of what we're doing, that's the rest of this story. true man truman is going to mee with stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeatedh stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeated.truman stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeated.truman stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeated.truman stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeated.ruman i stalin and churchill in germany after hitler's defeated.pgermany after hitler's defeated.pogerma defeated.tsgermany after hitler defeated.dgermany after hitler' defeated.agermany after hitler' defeated.mgermany after hitler' defeated.potsdam germany after hitler's defeated defeated.,germany after hitler' defeated.potsdam, germany after hitler's defeated. it's a new big three with harry truman being the president. truman's attitude is different than that of roosevelt. some indication of that change of u.s. policy comes right away. remember i mentioned to you that even vice president harry truman had not been kept informed of the manhattan project. when he becomes president, it's like, okay, there are a few
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things that you probably need to know. one of them is, we've been working on a bomb that -- and you know what? it's the biggest, baddest bomb around. in the potsdam, truman gets the word that it works. we have successfully detonated an atomic bomb. it works. and so he goes over to stalin and says to him, yeah, hitler's been defeat ed. we want to cooperate with you, but i need to let you in on a little secret, the secret is, we're going to end this war with japan because we have an atomic weapon, the likes of which, again, the world has never seen. that was supposed to be news to stalin. it wasn't. he already knew. really ironic. our own vice president, harry
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truman, was kept in the dark about the whole development, yet, stalin already knew. we already have soviet spies in the united states who had passed information along to stalin that we were working on it, we were close to it. he already knew we were very close having a successful nuclear weapon. well, what truman is going to do then is to give the japanese an opportunity to surrender. when they don't, we talked about this, we drop two. first on hiroshima august 6th when there was still no surrender. we dropped the second on hagasaki on august 9th and eventually the japanese surrender. i mentioned to you the last time, the primary reason why truman dropped it, to save american lives. the estimates of americans -- what was the casualty if we were going to invade mainland japan,
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as high as perhaps a million american casualties. exactly. that was the primary reason why truman drops the bomb. today i will give you a secondary reason. it's possible that harry truman also decided to drop the bomb not just to save american lives but to signal a shift in foreign policy, to send joseph stalin a completely different message about the role of the united states and its relationship with the soviet union. we're going to drop this bomb to send you a signal that there's a new sheriff in town. roosevelt is dead and cooperation is dead. harry truman will have a completely different foreign policy objective. he's going to rely on this guy. this is george, our so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin. , our so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin.k, our so-called expert on all things soviet, all
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things stalin.e, our so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin.a, our so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin.n, ou so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin.na, o so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin.n, ou so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin. george kennan probably knew more about the history of soviet union, its current status, than anybody else. he came to truman with a couple of themes, if you will. he said first, there can never be permanent or lasting peace. we are simply two different countries. so don't even try. roosevelt tried to cooperate with them and simply saying we're too different. the second thing that he told truman is that joseph stalin is determined to undermine and overthrow free and democratic countries around the world. if you thought hitler was determined to take over the
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world, joseph stalin probably is. he will use every opportunity he can to spread communist around the world. therefore, what truman was hearing was a change in foreign policy. kennan is going to recommend that the united states not cooperate with the soviet union anymore but we need to contain the soviet union. this is a dramatic shift in u.s. foreign policy. containment. if stalin is trying to infiltrate this area or this country, we must be there, stop them, thwart them, hold them back, contain their expansion. this is what kennan is advising. and so the days of cooperation are gone. the days of containment are here. this is going to mean that the united states is going have a dramatic shift in foreign policy that largely lasts up to this day, where we are going to become sort of the big brother to the world. we are going to be involved in
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other countries around the world. the days of isolationism are gone now. how does containment play itself out? well, 1947 is a big year for the cold war. harry truman is now going to start to describe for the american people and for the world what containment actually means. there is trouble in greece and turkey. after world war ii, both greece and turkey are struggling financially, politically. there is rebellions. there is insure recollectirecti two countries. he's going to send economic assistance to greece and turkey. now, brief explanation. this is exactly what kennan was talking about.
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there is insurrection and people rioting in the street. there is a problem. is it possible that the soviet union is infiltrated in greece and turkey trying to overthrow countries in the mediterranean? this is what we have been warned about. stalin is not just content with controlling eastern europe, now he's spreading his influence down into the mediterranean. now, that's not the case. we know that todayed. but in 1947, it fit perfectly with our suspicions of stalin and the soviet union.. but in 1947, it fit perfectly with our suspicions of stalin and the soviet union. so we're going to get involved. we're going to send $400 million worth of aid to prop them up to defend themselves against this urgency. the marshall plan, named after george marshall. $13 billion in economic assistance to rebuild western europe.
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wa world war ii has devastated france, belgium. they are in a weakened state. as long as they are in weakened state, they are susceptible to influence, foreign influence, communist influence. when people are at the bottom rung, they are willing to listen to everywhere who offers a bit of hope. the best way to hold back communist expansion is to rebuild them with a healthy europe. $13 billion to old back soviet expansion. congress passes the national security act in 1947. this is an amazing piece of legislation and has lots of facets to it and creates a national agency to revamp the military and coordinate the branches of the military, but what i want to talk about is if
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t created the cia. what does that stand for? >> central intelligence agency. >> if joseph stalin is up on undermining free and democratic countries, how are we going to know that unless we have people in countries around the world? we will send out folks who are going out to gather intelligence. i'm not talking about james bond. we are going to be sending out individuals working for the government, eyes and ears. what's going on in this country? are they susceptible to influence? of course, if we think that the soviet union will overthrow free and democratic countries, those guys might have an opportunity to undermine a weak and vacillating communist state as well. so we're not only going to go out there and gather intelligence, we might spark a little rebellion on our own behalf if we see stalin sort of asleep at the wheel.
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and then finally, in 1947, we sign the rio pact. it sounds like a song, but it's a military alliance between most of the countries of central and south america and the united states. it's a defensive alliance. where an attack upon one is an attack upon all. of course, big brother, the united states, will come to their aid and rescue. we have always been the protector of the western helms steer from the days of the monroe doctrine, in the 1800s. now we codified that and say we come to the aid and assistance of countries in central and south america. this is a lot of stuff in just one year. this is containment. stop for a second and put yourself in joseph stalin's shoes. the united states has gotten involved in greece and turkey.
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the mediterranean. the united states has gotten involved in rebuilding western europe. the united states is sending out guys all around the world, and now we have signed on to a military alliance in central and south america. if you are joseph stalin, who is the great threat to the peace and security of the world? who is trying to take over the world? >> yus. >> yes, the united states. if you paranoid and suspicious, it's the united states. so if you are joseph stalin, you have to respond. the cold war is like a tennis match. it goes from one court to the other. they do something and we respond and they respond. here is stalin's response. he is going to tighten up control over countries in eastern europe. hungary and czechoslovakia i
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mentioned here specifically because those were two countries that were supposed to have free elections after world war ii is over. well, the free elections go out the window by 1948. the communists have a purge of leadership and the two countries will be puppet regimes of the soviet union and then berlin. it gets complicated now. just keep in mind that during world war ii at the very end you've got the russian, the soviet army is driving deep into germany. they're going to get to berlin before we do. they're going to occupy much of eastern germany with their army, with their forces. berlin is a very important city in german history and culture
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and government and politics. it is going to be a divided city here in the cold war era. we are going have the eastern part of berlin controlled by the soviet union and the western part will be divided into different sectors. the french, the british, the american sectors. it's a divided city in a divided country. i know this is a foreign concept and my generation makes perfect sense. i grew up understanding there was an east and a west germany and an east and a west berlin until 1989, 1990. you guys were not even born then. this is difficult for to you comprehend. back in the end of the world war ii, the soviet red army moved into and controlled much of east germany and surrounded berlin. the americans, the british, and the french are going to have a presence there because we have to wind up the war and we have to have negotiations and have to
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have a demillizatioe have a demillizatioemildemilitee a presence in berlin. as a response to containment and as a response to everything truman was doing, what joseph stalin did was drive us out in the summer of 1948. what he is go going to do is cut off all ground access into and out of west berlin. up until this point, you could freely and easily move from one sector to the other much of a problem or an issue. you show proper identification, you can cross from the american sector to the soviet sector or back and forth into different sectors. in june of 1948, stalin puts a stop to that. we are not building a wall yet. the berlin wall comes later. what stalin is going to do is put up a perimeter that separates east from west and around the exterior of west berlin.
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he is basically holding west berliners prisoners. nothing is coming in or going out. he is trying to basically starve west berlin, meaning the americans, the british, and the french, to get our countries out of west berlin so that he has complete control over the city. it's a blockade, if you will, of west berlin. what does truman do? is he going to allow our interest and allies' interests in west merlin to be eliminated because stalin has the ability to close us off by land? no. truman is going to respond with almost an entire year of an airlift and goods and supplies, food, fuel, anything that the people needed will be flown in to that part of the city. i love the map simply because it
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shows you that in each of the three sectors, each of the three sectors has an airport. so we can fly in cargo planes into each sector, loaded with food, medicine, supplies, wal-mart gift cards and aa batteries. whatever they need, they will have access to. truman knows they won't shoot down the plane. if you think about the geography here, these planes are going to have to fly from -- take off from maybe a base in great britain, fly across the chann channel, across friendly airspace in western europe, and then they have to fly over eastern germany before they can get into west berlin. they have to fly into soviet controlled airspace. truman said they won't be shot down. nothing they can do about us airlifting the goods and
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supplies in west berlin. he won't shoot down the planes. why not? >> and if the war starts -- >> we have the bomb? >> we have a bomb and they don't. truman has a very tough stance against stalin. he's talking tough. we've got the bomb and you don't. our experts had told truman it would probably be at least five or ten or maybe even more than that years down the road before the soviet union would have the ability to successfully detonate an atomic bomb. we can fly all the planes in and help the people fly over soviet-controlled airspace and they won't be shot down. we have the bomb and they don't. eventually the airlift is over
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in may of 1949. stalin was trying to drag it out and see if our resolve would weaken. it didn't. we have planes taking off and landing 24-7. it's a battle of wills and we won out. when it's said and done, berlin is going to be a divided city. we are going to string up barbed wire and a wall will be built. that's another lecture for another day. >> is it like 24-hours? >> yeah, basically he's going to have forces along the interior separating east and west berlin, as well as simply move them in -- since west ber written is technically in east germany, they're going to be forces that they can quickly move in and blockade the roads and the t waterways. make sure nothing gets in or out.roads and the t waterways. make sure nothing gets in or out.blockade the roads and the waterways. make sure nothing gets in or out. at the very bottom of that slide, truman's response at the
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attempt to blockade. what does nato stand for? what's the "o" stand for? organization. good. north atlantic treaty organization. this is the by product of the rio pact. if we are going to have a military alliance, nato is sort of a military alliance with western europe. an attack upon a country of nato will bring the united states' involvement. you don't want that, joseph stalin. you don't want that at all. why? because we have the bomb and you don't. the cold war is back and forth and back and forth. we do something, they do something. well, here's the soviet response to the creation of nato and the airlift. remember, experts informed truman it would be five years, ten years, maybe more down the
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road before the soef yoet yviet would ever have the atomic bomb. no. in early september, an american spy plane picks up evidence of a successful nuclear blast. it's not us. the blast actually occurred at the very end of august. truman is informed in early september. folks, this changes everything. truman's foreign policy, his containment, has been predicated on this very tough stance against the soviet union because when push comes to shove, we have the bomb and they don't. well, now, that changes because the soviet union has successfully detonated an atomic bomb. by the end of 1949 we basically
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have a stalemate in europe. the united states is propping up western europe economically and militarily. the soviet union is propping up eastern europe economically, militarily. both countries are suspicious of each other and both countries have an atomic bomb. we are an awful lot alike and we don't want to push that envelope much further with both countries possessing nuclear weapons. so what happens then when we have this stalemate in europe, it simply means the cold war is going to spread into a different area. and we are headed into asia now. who is this fellow? >> chairman mao. >> chairman mao. >> i lived down the street from this, and it's a big street in cambodia and i live a block away
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from it. >> wow. >> isn't that cool? >> how many years ago was that? when you lived there. >> december. a year ago. >> really? recent. all right. here's the situation in china. after the war is over, there is a civil war that engulfs china. between the forces, the nationalists and the communists, a civil war. long story short is, by the end of 1949, mao and the communists drive the nationalists out over to the island of taiwan and china falls to communism. this is not a good couple of
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months for harry truman. if you stop and think about it, the soviet union has successfully detonated an atomic bottom and the most populous state in the world has fallen to communism. it's not a good fall early winter for harry truman. the largest territorial state in the world has an atomic and the most populous state in the world has fallen to communism. in our minds, they are linked. and, in fact, in early 150, the chinese and the soviets, they sign a treaty of mutual assistance which just solidifies the fact that a communist is a communist is a communist. what we know today is chinese communism and soviet communism, there are some real differences. in 1949, 1950, this is panic starting to envelope in the united states. we have stopped the spread of communism in europe, but look what happened in other parts of the world.
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we have to respond, some way, somehow. this is containment. instead of containing communist expansion in europe, we have to contain it in another part of the world. what do we do? we simply refuse to recognize the legitimacy of mao. for over 30 years the united states is not going to have any sort of diplomatic relationship with communist china. we will continue to recognize the chinese government in taiwan as the legitimate government of china. we simply aren't going to have anything to do with mao and the communist in china. all right. that doesn't hurt them much. but we have to find a way to stop or contain communism in this part of the world and need a new best friend. one of the strange iron anies of the cold war is the nation that we just nuked back into the flinestone era is now our new best friend.
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one of the strange ironies is by 1950, we will start rebuilding japan so they can help us stop the spread of chinese communism in this part of the world. then finally, there is a document that is known as nsc 68. a national council report listed as nsc 68. it will outline what the united states should do as we turn into the 1950s in dealing with communism. three things. first it said we shouldn't try to contain it anymore. we need to go to war and have victory and not just try to contain it, but be victorious over it. second, in order to do that, we will have to have a huge increase in our defense budget. i just threw some numbers out there.
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our defense budget goes from $13 billion in 1950 up to $50 billion just three years later. i don't know what percent of increase that is, but it's big. we are building up not only the conventional weapons, but more planes and more ships and artillery, but we are also going to build up a new bomb, the development of the thermonuclear bomb, or just simply called the hydrogen bomb. we have to do this because the soviet union has the atomic bomb. if they have the atomic bomb. we need a new bigger, badder bomb. we are going to be developing the hydrogen bomb. we are starting at arm's race with the soviet union. >> we are going to start it lately. >> fair question. i think they are looking for who
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will offer them economic assistance and help them rebuild? they are always wary of the chinese and wary of the soviet union, and the united states is reaching out and offering an olive branch and a lot of financial assistance. we will take it. an arms race is now a byproduct of the cold war. you have this weapon and we have to have another weapon. all of which brings me to dr. seuss. you all read dr. seuss growing up? anybody read "the butter battle" book? it's about the cold war. i'm not talking about the "foot" book and the "abc" book and all those classics. dr. seuss wrote a book about the cold war. "the butter battle book." i don't have time to read it to you. the library has a a

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